Level: Difficult

Distance: 26 km r/t

Time: 11 h r/t

Elevation Change: 1680 m

Topographical Map: Squamish 92G/11

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Season: July to Oct

Access: See Getting to Whistler

The approach to Mount Capilano begins the same as for the previous hike. Instead of following Phyllis Creek to her headwaters veer left and cross the waterway. The route continues over an old, badly-eroded logging road above the banks of Furry Creek to just beyond Beth Creek. Watch for the trail to Mount Capilano leading off to the right of the road bed, rising through a series of switchbacks. The steep track quickly leaves logging's legacy behind, giving way to old-growth forest before reaching the shores of Beth Lake. The deep mountain lake is an ideal place to break for lunch before pushing on to the 1686-metre crown of Mount Capilano.

From the lake work down and around, first westwards then south up towards a ridge that leads ultimately to the barren, rocky summit of Mount Capilano. Perseverance is rewarded by a stupendous panorama extending from the North Shore Mountains and the Lions to the south, the islands of Howe Sound and the craggy Tantalus Range splayed out across the western horizon. Garibaldi Park's trademark peaks rise in the distance to the north.

The End


Horsetails

Horsetails

Some would say the first plant: ever! A gigantic earlier relative of the common horsetail thrived in the Carboniferous era and eventually became our present day coal deposits. Containing silica, horsetails make a natural "sandpaper." On the west coast horsetails and salmon slime were used to polish masks, canoes, bone tools and soapstone pipes. In spite of the rough texture of the stalk, the young plant heads can be eaten as asparagus.

Illustration by Manami Kimura